As the population increases, North Idaho lakes and streams are at heightened risk of pollution.

This story was written by Jim Ekins for the CDA Press on Sunday May 10, 2020. Read the original article.

Homeowners can do a lot to protect and improve water quality through proper lawn and garden care and by landscaping with native or near-native plants that are acclimated to thrive without extra water and/or fertilizers. Soluble nutrients found in fertilizers, nitrogen and phosphorus are beneficial to yards and gardens. Unfortunately, these nutrients cause problems when they enter lakes, rivers and streams by accelerating aquatic plant and algae growth. This can have a negative impact on waterways where we swim, fish and boat.

Domestic water use in Idaho more than doubles due to outdoor watering during the summer dry season. This is expensive for users, reduces groundwater availability, and reduces critical summer flows to lakes and streams. In addition, even small amounts of overwatering can dramatically increase polluted inflow to our waterways. Wise water use, careful use of fertilizers and good landscape design can help protect our clean water. 

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